Observances of the Abrahamic Traditions

The Tent of Abraham coalition invites all people of faith to join us for these three events


Fast-Breaking (Iftar)

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Ramadan is the month during which, in the year 610 C.E., the first revelation of the Qur’an came to Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel.

Ramadan is a month of intensive devotion and worship. During the month’s twenty-nine or thirty days, Muslims fast from just before dawn to sunset as a means of spiritual discipline. Through controlling the two primary physical desires during the daylight hours, focus is diverted from the demands of the material sphere to the spiritual in order to develop self-control. The fast is broken at sunset with a light snack or water, followed by the fourth prayer of the day, which is then followed by dinner.

We are happy to have you with us!

Shabbat Shuvah

Shabbat is the day of rest that is observed weekly by Jews, from sunset on Friday through sunset on Saturday.  The High Holy Days are a set of holidays that occur annually.  Rosh Hashanah, literally Head of the Year is the two day observance of beginning of the new year.   The tenth day of the year is Yom Kippur, a day of fasting, prayer, and reflection.  The ten day period, called the Days of Awe, follows a month of reflection on our lives and relationships, and is an opportunity for T'shuva, or return to our true selves.

The week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, like every week of the year, includes a Shabbat.   This Shabbat is designated
Shabbat Shuva, literally Shabbat of Return.   Several of the standard Shabbat prayers have additions or modifications for this day.

The Shabbat Shuva service on October 8 at Congregation Har Shalom will begin with a study and discussion of the Torah, followed by a Shabbat morning service.

World Communion Sunday

World Communion Sunday, though not a major holiday, is a special observance of Christians around the world as “the body of Christ” and the solidarity they have with one another. The sacrament involves the use of bread and wine, blessed by a priest or minister and distributed to the congregation. Holy Communion is celebrated by Christians both as a remembrance of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and as a tangible reminder of the continuing presence of Christ in our midst. Plymouth UCC celebrates “open communion,” and all present are welcome to participate in the sacrament if they wish.

Solar and Lunar Calendars

Why this Year is Special

Most Westerners are familiar with a solar calendar, based on the 365.25 day cycle of the Earth's orbit around the sun.  A date in this type of calendar is a precise position in relation to the sun, but may fall anywhere in relation to the moon.

A lunar calendar is based on the 28.5 day cycle of the moon's orbit around the Earth.  A date in this type of calendar is a precise position in relation to the moon,
but may fall anywhere in relation to the sun..  The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar.  That is why the (solar) time of Ramadan changes each year.

The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar with solar adjustments.  Five of every nineteen years are designated as a leap year, and have a thirteenth month added.   This gives a date within the Jewish calendar with a precise
position in relation to the moon, and general, but less precise position in relation to the sun.

This year the Islamic month of Ramadan and the Jewish month of Tishrei coincide, and both coincide approximately with the Christian month of October.

Abrahamic Traditions

Three major world-wide religions all trace their roots to the prophet Abraham.  Islam is derived through Abraham and Hagar and their son Ishmael.  Judaism is derived through Abraham and Sarah and their son Isaac.  Christianity is derived through Judaism.

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